CASA to host crawfish boil

The Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, also known as CASA, will hold a crawfish boil for their largest fundraiser of the year Friday.

The second annual crawfish boil will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in Heritage Square in downtown Waco. The Spazmatics, an 80s cover band, will be playing. A VIP ticket is $125 and includes all you can eat and drink, a goodie bag, a t-shirt and access to see the band. $100 from the VIP ticket goes directly to CASA. A general admission ticket is $10 and just gets people in to see the band. A general admission ticket goes up to $15 the day of the event. Tickets can be bought online at

They are expecting close to 700 people at the event. Crawfish can be bought by the pound, and food trucks such as Pokey O’s, Smokin Hot Barbecue and Sausage Wraps by Kielbasa will be there. There will be a silent auction and a live auction, and children that were helped out by CASAs who will be speaking.

CASA is a volunteer-based non-profit organization that helps recruit and train everyday community members to help children in foster care or in the care of Child Protective Services with their court cases. Many of the children who are helped by CASA have been neglected or abused.

“CASA of McLennan and Hill Counties recruits, trains and empowers everyday community members to advocate for abused and neglected children in foster care,” says CASA of McLennan and Hill Counties’ mission statement.

Someone who wants to become an advocate must first fill out the interest application then go through a pre-screening interview. After the interview, the person must go through a 20-hour training course to become a CASA.

“CASAs investigate and find out what’s going on with the child and talk to everyone to find out what the situation is,” said Susie Wimberly, executive director of McLennan and Hill Counties’ CASA. “They recommend placements for the children, whether it be back home if it becomes safe or next of kin or adoption.”

Wimberly said there are a little over 600 children in foster care or the care of CPS who need an advocate in the McLennan and Hill county system. CASA is able to help about one-third of these children.

CASA is a state and national organization with 72 in the state of texas. Each state has several CASAs. Wimberly said there are 50,000 children in the state of Texas in dire need of volunteers and support.

CASA is Kappa Alpha Theta sorority’s philanthropy. About 70 members of the Baylor Kappa Alpha Theta will be volunteering Friday night.

Poway, California, freshman Maddie Murray is a new member to Kappa Alpha Theta and will be volunteering with CASA for her first time Friday. Murray has not been able to work directly with CASA because she is a new member. Murray said she is excited to work directly with CASA and see the difference they can make in the community.

“It’s [CASA] important because it involves the whole community in working together towards helping children who don’t have a great support system behind them,”Murray said. “It helps foster children know they’re that they’re not alone and that there are other people, even complete strangers, who have so much love to give and share with them.”